|April 27, 2004:
The United States cotton subsidies are giving
U.S. farmers an unfair advantage in the world market the
World Trade Organization ruled Monday night. The challenge
which was brought to the WTO by Brazil could force the
United States to lower the subsidies it pays farmers to
grow cotton and, eventually most subsidized crops reported
the New York Times, Monday.
Brazil argued that the subsidized payments made to
American farmers violated international trade rules.
They contended that the $300 billion in annual farm
subsidies and supports paid by the world’s wealthiest
nations have left farmers from Brazil and other developing
nations trying to compete in a marketplace whose prices
have been artificially driven down, the Times reported.
While this is only a preliminary ruling, the final
decision will not be announced until June, as the first
successful challenge of agricultural subsidies, the
decision could force a meaningful discussion of farm-aid
at summer trade talks. Nations have consistently locked
over this contentious issue forcing trade talks to lay
idle for over a year, according to the Times article.